Large Art in a Small Space.


Turning an ugly built in cabinet into, The Focal Part, of the room.
Before. These cheap pre fab cabinets were our this weeks challenge.
We did just a slight sanding and then used Oil based primer on the whole piece.
When painting in a small area it is always a plus when you can paint large pieces the same color of the walls.
These cabinet doors go all the way to the ceiling so we lowered the design to bring your eye down.
The difference is already amazing.
But this design makes this space pop!

Suggested materials:

  • Acrylic paint and Water Base Sealer  (Local hardware store)
  • Oil base Primer .

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Have a question about this project?

5 questions
  • Lucille
    on Jun 28, 2016

    Did you prime with the oil base?won't the acrylic paint peel off.are your cabinets msg or wood?

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Jun 28, 2016

      Not at all. You can use acrylic over oil base but you should never use oil paint over acrylic.

    • Gina Brezil Sismilich
      on Jun 28, 2016

      Hopefully you did something to seal the oil - acrylic over oil will peel over time. Oil paint can be used over acrylic. I am an artist and use both mediums. There may be a way to seal the oil to prep it for the acrylic

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Jun 28, 2016

      Hi Gina. This is an oil base primer / sealer I was skeptical at first when I was first told about this. But in over 20+ years I have had absolutely no problems with peeling. I did coat the design with a water base sealer when finished ( oil over acrylic will yellow over time)

    • Jacquie
      on Jul 11, 2016

      As an artist, I was always told that you could paint "fat over lean"... in other words OIL over ACRYLIC... never the reverse, it will eventually peel off. Sorry.

    • Linda Sikut
      on Apr 3, 2017

      Just add a comment to this discussion of oil over acrylic or acrylic over oil... There may be a difference between artist paint and the paint that is used for home projects. We moved into this house over 40 years ago and the previous owner had used oil based paint. We repainted with acrylic and nothing has peeled. Therefor, in my humble opinion, both concepts must be true, depending on the medium. :)

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Nov 13, 2017

      Yes these are msg cabinets. I always use oil base primer . I love the base . I have used both oils and acrylics over top. Never have I had a peeling problem.

  • Nicole Picard
    on Jun 28, 2016

    Stunning...but I question the Acrylic paint over an oil base...can you explain that?

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Jun 28, 2016

      I was skeptical at first when I first heard this years ago as well. I since have been using oil primers on most all of my projects . It is a much stronger base and adheres to shiny surfaces with gusto. You can use acrylic over oil but cannnot use oil over acrylic.

    • Nicole Picard
      on Jun 28, 2016

      Thank you Sarah...but it seems like the last sentence is incomplete ????

    • Mary K Hindman
      on Feb 27, 2017

      She's right. You can use latex over oil but not oil over latex

  • Todd B
    on Jun 28, 2016

    Awesome !! Your very artistic.. Did you use a stencil or Free hand the flowers? I'm not very talented in the Art department but I think I could pull this off in my laundry room. Love it !!! Thanks for the inspiration !!

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Jun 28, 2016

      I did this piece free hand. Often times on large projects I do use an over head projector, or power point projector to speed up the process. This design came to me at the last minute about 2am

    • Keemee
      on Jul 12, 2016

      All great ideas come at 2am!! Did you sleep after that?🤔I would have been up staring at the cabinets picturing the finished product!

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Jul 12, 2016

      So true Keemee. I had to wait until the next afternoon for someone to come help hang the doors. The wait was excruciating LOL

    • Gail
      on May 27, 2017

      Looks grand, you have to be an artist!
    • Sarah Schulner
      on Nov 13, 2017

      I did do this free hand. Others have mentioned using an overhead projector ..

  • Tami Stone
    on Apr 4, 2017

    My hands shake like a 99 year old woman's. With that in mind, u can better understand why I have a hard time drawing stick figures. LOL How else do you think I could put beautiful art like yours on my cabinets?

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Apr 4, 2017

      Some have said you could custom order stencils
    • Jill Sangster Holmes
      on Aug 20, 2017

      You can use some peel and stick wallpaper our contact paper, as well.
    • Diane Hamm
      on Aug 21, 2017

      or decoupage


    • Cat23834617
      on Aug 29, 2017

      You wouldn't believe what decoupage can do!!
    • Becky
      on Nov 13, 2017

      I've done neat stuff cutting out portions of wallpaper and sticking it on.
    • Sarah Schulner
      on Nov 13, 2017

      Some folks use stencils and are able to achieve the look they like

    • Donna Lord
      on Nov 14, 2017

      I have detailed my car with decals and you can choose from thousands of designs that are literally peel and stick.
    • Penny
      on Jan 20, 2019

      Hi Tami, I teach acrylics and those are forgiving - mistakes easily wipe off while paint is wet - else I have done napkin applique on the bathroom walls and kitchen cabinets - it comes off easily and wipe of residue - good experiences ahead for you.


    • Peach123
      on Jul 23, 2019

      My hands also shake badly! This is a great idea, I would love to do this project with a stencil!

  • SYL27902151
    on Aug 20, 2017

    Wow, thank you for sharing such a GREAT idea!! Did you do the same for all the kitchen cabinets? Or just those?
    • Sarah Schulner
      on Sep 9, 2017

      Just those . They did not match any of the other cabinets. So instead of trying to blend them in, we decided to make them stand out. It really transformed the look of this small kitchen.

Join the conversation

3 of 83 comments
  • Linda Abate
    on Mar 6, 2018

    OMG is all I can say. Never ever would have thought to do something like this on cabinet doors. The look is lovely and really adds to your kitchen. I am sure that you get so much happiness with your flower garden kitchen. This definitely would make me want to spend more time cooking. This is a job to be very proud of. Thank you for sharing your beautiful kitchen idea.

    • Sarah Schulner
      on Mar 6, 2018

      Thank you Linda. It sure was a fun project. I love original pops of surprise in small spaces don't you?

  • Jackie Sylvia
    on May 30, 2019

    OMG this is so beautiful, I have a real small kitchen but I think I'm going to try this. Maybe add a hummingbird and butterfly in memory of my sister that loved both so much. Thank you for the idea!!!

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